(SALEM, Ind. - September 15, 2012) - ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards drivers and teams will start practice at Salem Speedway at 12:30 p.m. today, but one key figure - the April winner at Salem - will be missing.
Turner Motorsports tapped Alex Bowman to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut today at Chicagoland Speedway - 224 miles away, as the crow flies - in a race set to start at 3:46 p.m. Eastern. That's just three-and-a-half hours before the scheduled 7:15 p.m. start for ARCA's second race of 2012 at the high-banked and demanding Salem oval.
That means one looking for Bowman's name on ARCARacing.com's live timing and scoring coverage won't see it throughout the afternoon. Dakoda Armstrong, the September 2010 winner at Salem for Cunningham Motorsports, will substitute for Bowman in practice and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell earlier in the day.
While hoping to pull off the feat of racing in two events in two states on the same day, Bowman will be posting to all of his social media outlets to update his fans along the way.
So how does the time stack up? Thirteen Nationwide races at Chicagoland Speedway have finished in an average time of approximately two hours and 15 minutes, presumably placing the checkered flag at 6:01 p.m. Salem time.
A Cunningham Motorsports representative said that Turner Motorsports will have a golf cart ready to take Bowman to a nearby helicopter at the Chicagoland track. The representative expects the helicopter to depart for a nearby airstrip within 10 minutes of the checkered flag.
The airstrip is eight miles, or a six-minute helicopter flight away. If all goes well, the small, private airplane lined up for Bowman to depart to Salem should leave by 6:19 p.m. After a 52-minute flight to the southeast, Bowman is expected to land at the Salem Municipal Airport at 7:11 p.m., just minutes before the race will go green.
Practice for the year's second race at Salem will take place over two sessions, from 12:30-1:15 p.m. and 1:45-2:30 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is scheduled for 4 p.m., and a driver autograph session will be open to all fans from 4:45-5:15 p.m. The 200-lap, 111-mile race is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m.
ARCARacing.com will feature live timing and scoring coverage throughout the day, and ARCA Racing Network hosts Charlie Krall and Tim Clagg will deliver a live audio call for the race on the site.